Cononley, Nr Skipton, North Yorkshire

We’ve just enjoyed a cheeky one-nighter this weekend with some good buddies.  Our destination this time was the little village of Cononley, in the Aire Valley, North Yorkshire.  It’s approx. 3.5 miles from the bustling market town of Skipton.

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We stayed at the Riverside Campsite, a C&CC certified site which is spread over 3 acres of level grass, with some areas sectioned off by tall privacy hedges.  There are also a few hard standing pitches.  The facilities and the surrounding scenery make it an impressive location and the centre of the village is just a 5-minute walk away.  The cost as C&CC members for our moho, 2 adults, 1 night on a grass pitch with EHU was £16

http://www.riversidecampsite.co.uk/

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Arrival at Riverside campsite

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We pitched in the first grass section by the entrance

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Jolly pitched up in the sunshine

Cononley has a general convenience store, railway station, Chinese take-away (Oriental May) and two pubs – The New Inn and The Railway.  We had a drink in each of the pubs (be rude not to!) but didn’t eat in either.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1129488-d5074429-Reviews-Oriental_May-Cononley_Skipton_North_Yorkshire_England.html

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g209940-d3846460-Reviews-The_New_Inn-Skipton_North_Yorkshire_England.html

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1129488-d4606608-Reviews-The_Railway-Cononley_Skipton_North_Yorkshire_England.html

We decided to catch the train from Cononley into Skipton late afternoon/early evening.  The trains run regularly and its about an 8 minute journey.  The ticket price was £4 return for 2 adults and £5 return for 2 adults/1 child.

After a few hours meandering around Skipton, visiting one or two hostelries (plenty to choose from), and finishing off with excellent fish n chips from Bizzie Lizzies by the canal, we caught the train back.

As we returned to site, the sun was beginning to set and we all gathered around outside chatting and having a nightcap before turning in for the night.

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Sunset on return to site

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Site viewed from the railway bridge

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Heading back to site

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Home time! 🚐

The following morning we all enjoyed bacon and egg baps and a cuppa tea or two before we packed Jolly up for our journey home.   One-night camping trips are definitely worth doing whenever you can’t fit a full weekend in.

What a summer we’re having this year, it feels like the sun has been shining forever 😎.  More of the same please!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Pot Haw Farm, Coniston Cold, North Yorkshire

Last week, we managed to link a 2-night Wedding Anniversary Spa break at the fabulous Coniston Hotel & Spa, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, with another Jolly adventure.

We had pre-booked an evening meal in the Huntsman’s Lodge restaurant at the hotel on the evening of our arrival followed by a full spa day the next day.  It was fab, a really lovely couple of days, but instead of staying at the hotel we made use of a Camping & Caravanning Club CS Site just a 10-15 minute walk away.  Heaps cheaper, but also our preferred option is ALWAYS to stay in our Jolly.

The site was Pot Haw Farm at Coniston Cold.  It’s an adult-only site based on a working farm, beside Craven Country Ride, an off road horse riding venue.  We have to say it was a real gem of a find.  For the first day/night we were the only unit on site and enjoyed total peaceful countryside relaxation.

Wide open views and good sized pitches, the facilities here are very impressive, pristine, and even include an AGA cooker in a communal kitchen/dining area.  The lady owner (Jacqui) greeted us on arrival and took us on a tour of the facilities immediately.  She takes great pride in the site which is lovingly kept.  The warm, sunny weather showed the whole area at its best during our stay.  Here are some photos taken during our stay:-

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By our second night there was a group booking of 3 more units pitched up and by the time we left the following morning the site had reached it permitted maximum of 5.   It seems to be a place people return to.  We can see why and will definitely return ourselves and venture out on our bikes, although not along the main A road that runs below the site.  The owner warned that it’s one to avoid as it’s very fast and not cycle friendly, or walker friendly as there is no footpath.  In fact the walk we did from our pitch to the hotel was one the owner recommended to us as a safe route through the farm fields.  Be sure to ask for those directions if visiting the hotel.  There are other walks from site too and apparently a bus stop a short distance away.

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So, for us, this was just a cheeky last minute accommodation booking for our anniversary celebrations, but it turned out to be quite a find.

We didn’t take any photos at the hotel as we had a phone/camera free relaxation break, but we can recommend it for a pamper day and/or delicious dining.

A big fat 10/10 for this trip.   Excellento! 👍

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… until next time 👋

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Clitheroe Food Festival, Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Sooo, a food festival.   What’s not to like?

We were back in Clitheroe a couple of weekends ago to experience the Clitheroe Food Festival  which we’d been meaning to visit several times but always seemed to have other trips planned.  We made sure that we made it there this year.

We stayed at Clitheroe Camping & Caravanning Club Site .  It’s situated in an idyllic location beside the River Ribble at Edisford Bridge just a mile or so outside the town centre.  We often stay at this site and this time noticed a big improvement in that the old plastic mesh matting pitches have now been replaced with gravel hard standings.  This is a big improvement as this site is so close to the River Ribble it’s prone to water logging and flooding.

Our weekend had begun Friday lunchtime when our nephew, George, who had been staying with us for a couple of days helped us to collect Jolly from storage and joined us on board as we took him back home on the way.

For Friday night, we’d pre-booked ourselves a table at The Red Pump Inn, Bashall Eaves So, after a chilled afternoon on Jolly (it was raining quite heavily outside) we rang for a taxi up to the Red Pump, which is about 2.5 miles outside Clitheroe.  It’s in a peaceful location with good views of the surrounding countryside.

We’d heard before going that the steaks here were top notch, and although there was plenty on the menu that could easily have turned our eyes, noses and taste buds, we both decided to go for a steak.  We ordered a fillet steak with garstang blue cheese sauce and a 90 day dry aged rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce.  Both were cooked to medium rare perfection, served with tasty chunky hand cooked chips and a side salad. The food portions were just right too, comfortably filling.

In fact, the whole evening was pretty perfect – great staff, service and atmosphere.  We can recommend this one without hesitation.  It made an interesting change for us too as we usually go into Waddington which also has great pubs/restaurants – The Higher Buck, Waddington Arms, and The Lower Buck.

The next day the sun came out of hiding in time for the Food Festival and the town centre was buzzing with a large turnout of people who were treated to a festival offering an impressive display of different food/drink/produce stalls.  There was plenty of live street music, entertainment and food demos too.  This Festival is rated as one of the most successful of its kind in the North West of England and in the top 10 throughout the country, and this was its 7th year.

We enjoyed our afternoon wandering through the town centre then ventured down to another place that put on a great day – the Bowland Brewery at Holmes Mill just down from the town centre.  There were food stalls, their new food hall was open, live music, ice cream shop and of course some great ales to be enjoyed.  For us, this place is an absolute must to drop into whenever we’re over Clitheroe way.

The town’s festival was rounded off perfectly at approx. 4pm when the Red Arrows treated everyone to a fly-over display on their way across to the Blackpool Air Show.  It was a spectacular finish to the event.

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Clitheroe Main Street

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Red Arrows Flyover (photo by Zoie Carter-Ingham)

Afterwards, we cycled back down from town to the Edisford Bridge pub which is just over the bridge from the C&CC site.  We grabbed a pint and some tea (because we hadn’t actually eaten at the food festival!?) before heading back to our pitch to await the arrival of a couple of good friends and fellow campers, Mo & Lee, who were coming to see Jolly and have a few drinks with us.

We sat out for a couple of hours chatting, laughing and drinking before the evening chill finally beat us and we retreated inside Jolly for the remainder of the evening.  Our next outing will actually be back in Clitheroe but a group social gathering with Mo, Lee and another couple..  We’re really looking forward to that one.

Great weekend! 😊  Til next time ..

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Oswestry – ‘Where Shropshire meets Wales’

We returned for a second visit this weekend to Cranberry Moss Camping & Caravanning Club Site which is located just off the busy A5 between Oswestry (8 miles) and Shrewsbury (10 miles).  It’s a beautifully maintained site with an open layout, and we received a warm welcome from the warden who showed us around the site and allowed us to choose our own pitch.  We didn’t use the onsite facilities during our stay but they looked clean and what you’d expect from a club site.

As with our last visit here, our journey involved several hold-ups and general heavy Friday traffic.  We reached the site mid-afternoon and pitched up just before some heavy rain arrived.  It rained non-stop for the rest of the afternoon so we stuck the kettle on and had a relaxing few hours on Jolly before heading out for a meal in the evening.

We knew from our last visit that there’s a lovely pub a couple of miles away in Nesscliffe, called The Old Three Pigeons.  So, after realising the rain wasn’t for stopping, we got togged up and cycled through the downpours into Nesscliffe.  We were rewarded with a delicious meal there so it was well worth the effort!  By the time we returned to camp the rain had ceased and it was still light so it was quite a pleasant ride back.

Cheers to a good evening at the Old Three Pigeons

There’s a Country Park in Nesscliffe where you’ll find an iron age hill fort, quarries which supplied stone for some of Shropshire’s’ castles and churches, and a cave hewn into the sandstone, which it is claimed was the hideout of a medieval outlaw called Humphrey Kynaston – Shropshire’s answer to Robin Hood.  It’s claimed that the Old Three Pigeons is haunted by Humphrey.

A handy Arriva bus service runs past the site entrance and can take you to Shrewsbury (opposite side of road) or Oswestry (just outside site entrance).  The warden told us to avoid any bus with an ‘X’ by the number when returning to site as this was an express service which would not pass the site and would leave us a good 2 miles away.  On our last visit, we had visited Shrewsbury so this time we jumped on the number 70 bus to explore the market town of Oswestry.

The name ‘Oswestry’, is derived from King Oswald of Northumbria (died in AD641).  He was apparently nailed to a tree – hence the name “Oswald’s Tree“.    Probably the most famous person to have hailed from Oswestry is the First World War Poet, Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).  We visited the tourist information, which is housed in an old school building by St Oswald’s Church, to pick up a map of the Wilfred Owen Trail which takes you through the town and to places of note including his place of birth and early childhood home at ‘Plas Wilmot’.

We had a good walk around the town on the trail and later enjoyed an early evening pizza and prosecco at Prezzo before returning to camp.

Our journey back home the next morning was fortunately without any of the hold-ups we’d experienced on our way down.  The sun was shining too which made a difference.

Summer’s marching on.  Still plenty of Jolly adventures lined up though 🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Lynton & Lynmouth, North Devon

Firstly, I’ve finally discovered hyperlinks (!) which will enable better integration of links into blog posts from now on.  You’re welcome.

So, the final part of Jolly’s June Jaunt took us from the seaside and beach settings of Saunton and Ilfracombe to Lorna Doone Country, and the rugged, captivating charm of Lynton & Lynmouth on the coast of Exmoor National Park.  The scenery was truly stunning.

We stayed at Lynton Camping & Caravanning Club site just one (very) hilly mile outside Lynton itself, and arrived in glorious sunshine.  Our first day there was the hottest so far.  We were a little early but that didn’t seem to bother the laid back and very friendly wardens who told us a little about the local area and allowed us to choose our own pitch.  They were lovely people, chatty and full of interesting and helpful information on the area.

This is one of the prettiest, quietest and well placed sites we’ve stayed at.  It was immaculately kept and although there are several reviews about the facilities being dated, we found them to be spotless and perfectly adequate, although as usual we mostly used Jolly’s onboard facilities.

The weather was so good on our first day that we decided to have a lazy, sunbathing day but not before we hopped on the bikes and rode to a nearby farm shop – Caffyn’s Farm Shop about a mile away.  The café there was closed but the well-stocked shop allowed us to stock up for a BBQ later in the day and other provisions for the rest of our stay, including their delicious homemade cider which certainly packed a punch!  There’s also a camping site, accommodation and horse riding at the farm.  Although only a short distance to the farm and back it was a fairly hilly ride and that was the last time we used our bikes in this area, getting about instead mostly by foot.   There’s a bus service you can use to get around, the bus stop is just a little walk away from site (info available from reception).

 

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We had a fab time in Lynton & Lynmouth, walking from site and taking in the amazing scenery.  We passed a friendly couple who were digging in deep to get up the very steep hill section.  I think they stopped for breath as much as a chat.  They told us that they had recently settled in Lynton after wanting a change from their old life.  They apparently sold up and just stuck a pin in a map of the UK to decide where to go!  It landed on Lynton.  Wow, no messing about there.  They hadn’t regretted it either.

Lynton stands above the lower picturesque harbour village of Lynmouth and is connected by a Victorian funicular cliff railway.  It’s a must to travel up and down between the two villages on this unusual mode of transport.  The railway is water-powered and operates on a balancing principle.

 

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We took the railway down into Lynmouth, the village known as ‘England’s Little Switzerland’.

We visited The Flood Memorial Hall, where the moving story is told through video, photographs and correspondence of the devastating Lynmouth Flood Disaster of August, 1952 in which 28 people tragically lost their lives.

There’s also a model of the village within the memorial hall.   Entrance to the memorial hall is free and gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history of this beautiful village and its people.

 

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You can walk from Lynmouth to Watersmeet House, a former fishing lodge by a dramatic river gorge.  It’s a National Trust property well known for its delicious cream teas.

There are many walks to enjoy around this area, including Watersmeet, Valley of the Rocks, Countisbury to name just a few.

There’s certainly plenty to see and do in Lynton and Lynmouth.   We finished our day searching for somewhere to eat.  Having taken the railway back up to Lynton we discovered a little cafe (day)/restaurant (night) called The Vanilla Pod.  We were lucky enough to get a last-minute table, it’s a very popular place and gets great reviews on TripAdvisor.  Well, we soon found out why.  We had some scrumptious seafood washed down with a large glass of white wine.  If we lived nearer, we’d be there all the time!  You’d be wise to book if you’re ever thinking of going.

Our last evening was a perfect close to our North Devon Adventure.  We were blessed with a breathtaking and quite romantic sunset.  Perfect! 😎

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The next morning we packed up early ready for our 5 hour, 300 mile journey home and luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad.  Another great adventure and oodles of great memories.  Happy days 🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

So, our latest Jolly jaunt took us just over the border to bonny Scotland where the sun shone all weekend.

 

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We headed to Moffat, a Victorian Spa town on the River Annan, and stayed on the Camping & Caravanning Club Site which is situated just a 5-minute walk from the town centre.  It was a perfect two-night stop-over location.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/dumfriesgalloway/moffat/moffat

 

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This is a large 180 pitch site and most if not all pitches were occupied this weekend.  The pitches are well spaced out though giving a relaxed and open enough feel.  The wardens were very warm in their welcome and allow visitors to choose a pitch from a map on the reception wall before escorting you down to it.

 

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There’s a cycle hire shop just outside the main gate if you want to explore further afield by bike.  Our bikes stayed on the back of Jolly this time though as everything was within easily walkable distance.  There’s also a handy Co-op just outside the site entrance for any necessities.

Moffat is a town that relies heavily on tourism and therefore offers the expected array of shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars.  It also hosts a number of events throughout the year including the Moffat Sheep Races, Classic Car Rally, Christmas Festival and Gala Day.  More info can be found here …

https://www.visitmoffat.co.uk/

There’s a museum with free entry if you want to learn more about the history of the town.

The town is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as having the world’s narrowest hotel.  The Star Hotel dates from the late 1700’s and is just 20 ft wide and 162 ft long.  Moffat also claims to have both the narrowest Street (Syme Street) and shortest Street (Chapel Street) in Scotland.  We can vouch for a good pint in the Star Hotel 😉

The Famous Star Hotel – in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s narrowest hotel  http://www.famousstarhotel.co.uk/

There’s another tourist attraction in the town centre called ‘The Moffat Ram’.  It’s a fountain and a symbol of the town’s historical connection to the sheep and wool trade. The Statue was a gift to the townspeople by businessman William Colvin, and was originally a drinking fountain.  After William Colvin had commissioned the sculpture, there was a grand unveiling ceremony. During the ceremony a local farmer noticed the ram “Had nae lugs” and it is said he shouted out this fact to all the crowd at the gathering.

On closer examination, it was clear the Moffat Ram had no ears. This mistake became too much of a burden for the Sculptor, William Brodie, who supposedly committed suicide at the Annandale Arms Hotel across the road and is said to wander the corridors of the hotel on an eternal search for the missing lugs ….

Hmm, no ghostly noises or sightings for us but again we can vouch for a good pint at the Annandale Arms! 😉

http://ghosts.wikia.com/wiki/The_Moffat_Ram

 

In September each year the town marks the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, one of WWII’s most prominent battles).  It remembers a local hero who was considered to be a mastermind in the winning of the battle.  Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding was born in Moffat and there’s a memorial to him which stands in Station Park.

 

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Station Park looked beautiful in the sunshine.  There’s a little boating lake, putting green and plenty of benches to sit and chill out, which we did for a while.  That was after an eventful arrival into the park and one which amused Brian no end.  He had found a shortcut from the shop to the park down an embankment and across a precariously balanced plank of wood which he maneuvered across expertly.  Then yours truly had a go, only to lose my footing (and dignity) as the plank slipped, propelling me into the embankment.  Still, I got across! 😜

During our visit we ate at ‘The Beef Tub’, the restaurant of the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our meal here – Heart-warming Traditional Scottish Stovies ~ a blend of beef, lamb, pork & haggis slowly simmered with potatoes and vegetables served with oat cakes.  Yum!  It’s worth booking though because this place seemed very popular.

http://www.buccleucharmshotel.com/

 

Another place which seemed to attract many people was Bombay Cuisine, so we tried this on our final night.  We had our meal as take-out and enjoyed it back on Jolly.  Big thumbs up to this meal too.

http://www.bombaycuisinemoffat.com/

Finally, Moffat became Europe’s very first ‘Dark Sky Town’ in 2016 after three years’ hard work to achieve this title.  This involved a push towards conversion to special street lighting which keeps light pollution to a minimum.  So, no doubt it’ll be a favourite with stargazers.  Actually, I was seeing stars after the embankment incident …

http://darksky.org/idsp/communities/moffat/

Anyway, Moffat was a delight and we’ll happily return at some point in the future, maybe out of season when the site is a little quieter, it’s open all year round.

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Homeward bound

We had a good journey home and it’s a couple of weeks now until our next Jolly adventure in June.  It’ll be a 9-nighter and as always can’t come soon enough  🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Crowden, Glossop, High Peak, Derbyshire

Back from another cheeky Jolly jaunt!  This time we fancied another peek at the Peak District.

Crowden, a village lying in the Longdendale Valley of the High Peak area of Derbyshire, north-east of Glossop, was our destination.  It’s Derbyshire’s most northerly village and a popular first stop for those walking the 267-mile Pennine Way which begins approx. 16 miles away in Edale and stretches allllllll the way up to Kirk Yetholm, just over the Scottish Border.  Anyway, enough about that, I’ve sprung a blister just thinking about it.

There are 6 reservoirs within the Longdendale Valley (Woodhead, Torside, Rhodeswood, Valehouse, Bottoms and Arnfield) known collectively as the ‘Longdendale Chain’ on the River Etherow.  There was apparently once a seventh reservoir at nearby Hollingworth but that one was abandoned and became what is today Swallows Wood Nature Reserve.

We stayed for the first time at Crowden Camping and Caravanning Club Site.  A site mostly for walkers/cyclists or anyone wanting to get away from it all as it is in quite a remote location compared to many other sites.  There are plenty of places to visit that are a drive away, fine if you have transport but we didn’t see anything in the way of public transport in the immediate area.

It’s a lovely little site though, with a recently refurbished toilet block and the staff provide a great food service for weary walkers, etc. in the form of pizzas/burgers in the evening, and breakfasts.  We didn’t use this service as we had brought our own food for the first evening and ate while out and about the following day, but it appeared to be very popular with many campers.  There was even delivery to your pitch – nice touch!

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/glossop/crowden/crowden

Crowden is situated on high moorland and was originally created to re-locate people displaced by the necessity to dam and flood the lower part of the valley when the reservoirs were created between 1848-1884.  It was once served by a railway station on the Woodhead Line which linked the cities of Manchester and Sheffield and ran through the valley via the Woodhead Tunnel.  The station was closed in 1957 and the line used for the last time in 1981.

Part of the old railway line has since been transformed into the 7-mile ‘Longdendale Trail’ (part of NCN62) running from nearby Hadfield to the Woodhead Tunnel.  You can walk, cycle or ride ya horse along it.

We joined the trail at Crowden, rode the section to Woodhead tunnel and back before then following the rest of the trail into Hadfield, where we had a wander around the town and a bite to eat, before heading back home along the trail.

Woodhead Reservoir

The trail is relatively flat, just a gradual incline heading Woodhead way from Hadfield but this isn’t particularly noticeable.  It’s a hard gravel surface so is easy to ride but apparently it can be difficult if very wet.  Because the trail is exposed, it provides wonderfully uninterrupted scenic views of the surrounding landscape and reservoirs, with plenty of viewing places to sit awhile and just take it all in.   We definitely saw this place at it’s best as the weather couldn’t have been better – cloudless skies and not so much as a breeze.

On arrival at Hadfield we just had a mooch around.  The town, particularly the main street, was used as the filming location for ‘The League of Gentlemen’.   We just happened upon the Pauline’s Job Centre.

After an afternoon of cycling and walking we stopped to enjoy a couple of real ales and a meal in the beer garden at The Peels Arms Hotel, before heading back along the trail to site.

http://www.peelsarms.co.uk/

Another great weekend has flown by.  Fab weather, hope it continues!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri